“What else could it be? Seriously, though? Unless I have people living under my stairs like in that creepy eighties movie, it’s either a ghost or I’m losing my mind.”

“You’re not crazy.” She squinted. “But maybe you should have Reece just take a look at your place. Or Jax?”

Yeah, I could picture both of guys never letting me live it down if I told them I thought I had a ghost in my house.

“So how long are you going to be up here?” I asked, changing the subject as I leaned against my car, pulled off my glasses, and used the hem of my shirt to clean them.

“My morning class is cancelled tomorrow so I’m going to head back then.” Calla glanced up at the overcast skies. The scent of rain was thick in the air. “Which is probably a good thing, since I think they’re calling for pretty bad storms today.”

I slipped my glasses on, smiling when I didn’t see any smudges or spots. “You and Jax got anything planned for today?”

“I think we’re just going to hang out at his place.” She twisted a length of blond hair between her hands as she shrugged. “What about you and Reece?”

“I don’t think we have anything planned. It’s weird. I don’t know if we’re dating or if we’re just . . . hooking up. He texted me last night, asking me to let him know when I got home and I did that.” I folded my arms, pursing my lips. “So I really don’t know.”

“You just text him, invite him over if he doesn’t work or something. Keep it casual,” she offered, and then laughed softly. “Honestly, I’m the last person who should be giving you advice when it comes to this.”

“No.” I reached out and squeezed her arm. “You obviously know what you’re doing. You hooked a guy like Jax, so . . . ?”

Her cheeks flushed and she laughed again as she propped her hip against the passenger back door. “You know damn well I had no idea what I was doing when it came to him.”


I grinned. Calla had been pretty clueless. “True.”

“But you know, I think it’s always like that when you really like someone. It was the same with Teresa and Jase. Liking someone makes us stupid. That’s what I’m going with.”

“Sounds accurate.”

“Oh!” she exclaimed. “I forgot to ask you last night. Who got you the roses? They are beautiful.”

Feeling creeped out by the roses since I assumed they were from Dean, I’d left them in the office. Now that room smelled like a florist shop. Ha. “You know, I have no idea, if they’re not from Dean.”

She arched a brow. “You really think they’re from him?”

I shrugged. “I guess so.”

“What did it say?”

“Something like next time will be better,” I told her, frowning. “Weird, huh?”

She nodded as she pushed off the car. “Maybe the flowers were meant for someone else if they weren’t from Dean.”

“I don’t know. They had my name on it. Maybe it was just a mistake.”

Calla smiled and she reached down and gave me a hug. “I’ve got to run, but I’ll call you later, okay?”

I waved good-bye and then climbed into my car. On the way home, I was surprised when Dennis called. Since it was Sunday, I wasn’t expecting to hear from him, but cops didn’t work normal Monday-through-Friday schedules. He let me know that Henry had gotten an estimate for the windshield damages and it was going to cost a couple of hundred to fix.

I groaned, thinking of how much I had in my savings account, which wasn’t a lot at all. But this was my bed I made, so I had to roll around in it and pick up more web design to make back the cash.

When I got home, I was halfway across the sidewalk when the sky ripped open and rain pelted me, soaking me in seconds. Squeaking, I dashed up to the porch. My wet sandals hit the floorboards, and I slipped. Arms wheeling like a windmill, my purse hit the porch and I lost my balance.

I was so going down.

Before I crashed, the entrance door swung open and a blur shot across the porch. Strong arms caught me around the waist and jerked me up. The sudden impact against something hard and dry knocked my glasses off my face and punched a grunt out of me. For a moment, the only thing that moved was my pounding heart.

“You okay?” asked a low-pitched male voice.

Lifting my head, all I could make out through the curtain of my dark hair was that it was a guy with blond hair. Definitely not James, who had coal-black hair cut short. “I’m so okay. Thank you for . . . um, catching me.” Feeling like an idiot, I pushed my hair out of my face, and got a good look at the guy.

His face was vaguely familiar—cheeks a little round with a nose that was slightly crooked, obviously broken many years ago. His eyes were a dark brown and sharp. Intelligent eyes.

And he was still holding me by the waist.


Stepping back, I laughed awkwardly as he dropped his arms. “Sorry about that. Usually I don’t almost kill myself when I try to walk on to the porch.”

A tight-lipped smile formed. “That’s good to know. Wait,” he said as I started to step to the side and reach for my purse. I froze while he swooped down, snatching up my glasses. “You almost stepped on these.”

Double geez.

“Thank you again.” I took them and smiled as he handed me my purse. Tucking my dripping hair back behind my ears, I squinted up at him. “I don’t think we’ve met.”

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